Friday, January 29, 2016

Weekend Reading: The Yikes, Is It Friday Again Already? Edition

I'm soooo close to being caught up. I'll get there soon- maybe even next week!- and then maybe I'll finally get to write some of the posts I've got sketched out in my writing notebook.

But for now, let's just get to the links for the week, shall we?

One of the things I did this week was write my next Chronicle Vitae article. In doing the research for that, I came across this old Cal Newport post about the effort it takes to make good use of your time. I may well follow his lead and write a post (at my real name site) about my time management method. It works really well for me, and pays back the effort and then some... but it does take time and effort to do.

I shared that Cal Newport post in this month's Management Monthly newsletter, which comes out Monday. Here's another post I shared there that I think you guys will like: Cate Huston on assessing whether or not someone is giving advice only to white men.

Giving advice in general is fraught even if you are demographically identical to the advisee, which makes it a little ironic that the next link I'm going to share is to the page for my Take Control of Your Time seminar, which is now open for enrollment. I resolve this cognitive dissonance by saying I don't so much give advice as show you techniques to figure out how to improve your time use.

(Consider this a bit of a "pre-sale"- I haven't started promoting this seminar yet. It will go out in the aforementioned newsletter, along with a discount code for early registration for newsletter subscribers. Rather than be coy about that and say "sign up to get it" I'll just say it is NEWSLETTER and will take $2 off the price, making the seminar $18. I think of my readers here as my "core friends and fans" whose support has helped me pursue this wacky new career path, and so it seems only fair you should get the discount. But I'm only going to mention the discount once because I don't want to do too much promotion on this blog... so act now, etc., etc.)

OK, back to the links.

I liked this Jeffery Pfeffer essay about letting money trump everything so much that I will probably share it everywhere I share links. Apologies if that means you see me recommend that you read it three times. But you should read it!

If only the government of Michigan and Flint hadn't let money trump their responsibility to their citizens... I am so angry about what has happened in Flint that I can hardly bear to think about it, particularly when I think about the children whose lives have been irrevocably changed by lead poisoning. I know there are a lot of complex reasons the city ended up where it did- my own city had an underfunded pension crisis a few years ago, and we're in a region whose economy is based on growing industries, not shrinking ones. I understand why there was so much pressure to save money. But, I keep coming back to the responsibility of those elected officials. You do not poison children to save money. Full stop.

And I still don't know how we're going to even begin to make those citizens anywhere close to whole again. Maybe the silver lining in this will be that we as a country realize that there are things our government does that demand reparations, and then we might finally reckon with the damage of slavery, the failed Reconstruction, Jim Crow, years of housing policy discrimination....

Given the current political climate, that is probably far too much to hope for, though.

Speaking of the current political climate, this analysis of the Republican Party is depressing. I am starting to reconcile myself to the idea that they may well nominate Donald Trump. And I am starting to ask myself what I will do to help ensure he is not elected president, beyond vote in my safely Democratic state.

Speaking of really depressing things about the Republican Party: The Koch Brothers may have tried to intimidate a reporter who wrote things they didn't like.

Speaking of really depressing things: a flight attendant writes about human trafficking.

Ugh. Let's have some comic relief: only women turned up at the Senate the day after the big snowstorm. There have been so many great jokes about this, but my favorite may be this one:

There has apparently been a kerfuffle in the higher ed-o-sphere about "killing bunnies" (it isn't really about bunnies, it is about struggling freshmen). I mostly missed it, but I did catch Dean Dad's post on the open admission policy of community colleges, and it is great.

Also, it led someone to tweet this picture at @tressiemc, and it is my new favorite picture:

Speaking of @tressiemc, here she is being really insightful about staying in the lines (metaphorically, of course). I think I find her writing so thought-provoking precisely because she's good at knowing which lines to cross and which to rely on.

Another person whose writing I'm finding really thought-provoking lately is Tim O'Reilly, someone I previously knew only as the guy who published all those awesome tech books I relied on in graduate school. Here he is in virtual dialog with Paul Graham, about inequality.

On the context of making. This is so good, particularly if you've ever wondered why a certain segment of our society lionizes people who use 3D printers, but looks down on people who knit, or bake.

I'll end with a tweet that made me think that David Bowie's parents were pretty awesome.

Happy weekend, everyone!


  1. If you want to understand what is going on inside the Republican party, this is the absolute best insight I have found:

    TLDR: The wage earning class is tired of the salary class getting cheaper goods at their expense. They certainly don't trust Hillary, Jeb, Cruz, etc. to represent them since they are beholden to the investment class. They're used to being made fun of (flyover country, etc) and like that their candidate is made fun of (bad hair, etc) and then throws it back at the "establishment".
    These were three really interesting questions I got out of the article:
    1. Which class do you belong to (ie. how do you get your income): Investment, Salary, Wages, or Welfare?
    2. How many people do you regularly interact with outside of your class?
    3. How do you view people outside of your class?

    1. Thanks for posting this. I think we're idiots if we ignore what Trump's popularity is telling us about how a lot of people feel about their lot in this country right now.

      1. I used to be salary. Now I don't know what to classify my income as. Probably closest to salary.

      2. Quite a few, but only in the wages category. I know some of the families at our school are on welfare, but that doesn't count in my view. I don't know them well enough to know their situation.

      3. I think most people are making the best choices they can for their situation, and when those choices look bad to me, it is likely I don't fully understand the situation. I do have a fair amount of distrust for the Investment class, particularly at the very tippy-top, though. Because their choices can be so actively bad for the rest of us even if they make sense for them (e.g., things like tax dodging).

      Hmmm, I may try to expand on this in an actual post at some point.


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